According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets have agreed to a deal that will send superstar point guard Russell Westbrook to the Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul and two first round picks.
Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul Swapping Jerseys
Where There is Smoke, There is Fire
Russell Westbrook was all over the rumor mill following the Paul George trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. The three rumored teams were the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and the always star-hunting Houston Rockets. Low and behold, the mad scientist Daryl Morey strikes again.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2019
In light of the vicious rumors surrounding Chris Paul and James Harden‘s relationship, despite there unbelievable rebuttals to the reports, the breakup was imminent. However, due to Chris Paul’s gaudy contract, a trade seemed to be stalled for a later time. Fortunately, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sam Presti were actively looking to rebuild by sending out Westbrook’s supermax deal.
Houston, on the other hand, gets a star point guard with some explosiveness still left in the tank. Chris Paul was a cerebral threat, but father time and nagging injuries stunted the potential of a star-studded backcourt with 2018 regular season MVP James Harden. Westbrook, in addition to being the 2016 MVP, was a teammate of Harden’s in OKC.
What to make of the fit in Houston
For as much fun as the reunion makes for content, the on-court chemistry doesn’t seem ideal for two ball-dominant point guards. Say what you want about Paul’s attitude and seemingly dissolving hamstring, but at least he could play off-ball without completely disappearing from the game.
Westbrook, on the contrary, isn’t what you call a spot-up shooter. Furthermore, he is a 30 percent finisher on three-point field goals in his 11-year career. Daryl Morey did succeed in obtaining a player with a great history with Harden. However, the two players aren’t in the same space they were as banana one and two under Kevin Durant.
Will Westbrook and Harden coexist as two former MVPs for the sake of winning an NBA championship? The Western conference gets stronger with each transaction.
Embed from Getty Images